Devon LivingIssue #07

News and views October 2018

Keeping you in the loop.

Coming to The Cotton Tree Boutique this autumn

Skunkfunk is an ethical clothing brand that designs sustainable garments for independent, fun women with an urban style. The autumn collection is inspired by the ancient art of origami and the fabrics are filled with beautiful paper birds and Jacquard designs, with each piece carefully designed from scratch in the heart of the Basque country. All garments are made using sustainable fabrics, natural fibres and organic cotton, which is what drew owner Susan to the brand. She tells us: “One of the reasons we at The Cotton Tree have decided to stock this inspiring brand is their Fair Trade values; Skunkfunk have respect for people and the planet and make every effort to make their business ethical, even in the methods they use to package their goods and transport them.”

For more information call 01822 735222


Is getting permanent eyebrows worth it?

Many people ask themselves or others if permanent makeup is worth the investment and the answer is that it’s certainly an option worth considering. It accommodates those who lack the skill of pencilling in their own brows as well as those who are allergic to makeup products, individuals with busy schedules, and for cancer survivors. Eyebrows frame and define the face, and when applied correctly the results speak for themselves. So, why get permanent eyebrows? In most cases it comes down to saving time and money on makeup with permanent eyebrow tattoos, thereby saving a considerable amount of money and time out of your day. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your eyebrows smudging or fading, during swimming, exercising, taking showers or sleeping.

For more information call 01822 610404 or visit


A whole new world of fitness and relaxation

Starting in late September, The Woolacombe Bay Hotel in north Devon will undergo one of the most extensive renovations in its 40-year history. The regeneration of the hotel’s southern wing will include a private cinema, gym, yoga studio, extensive spa renovations, and a collection of dog-friendly suites, all available from mid-February next year!

At the heart of the project, The Alchemist Spa will be home to four luxury treatment suites, a relaxation suite, a Rasul mud experience suite, a selection of heat experiences and more. And, once your mind is relaxed and your muscles soothed, the Salt Gym will revolutionise fitness with Keiser strength and conditioning equipment. An extensive schedule of daily classes will be available, as will a new light-filled studio offering mind-body workouts such as yoga and pilates.

For more information visit


Great golf and fine dining at Torquay Golf Club

Located in the heart of Devon, Torquay Golf Club is both friendly and accessible. The team prides itself on being ‘the club to join in Devon’, creating an experience worthy of returning to time and time again! The course is always in excellent condition and now boasts some of the finest greens in the county. It’s suitable for all age groups and abilities, being not too long while remaining a true test for all the shots required. Now 100 years old, this parkland course is full of history, the most recent being Sir Nick Faldo winning his first pro competition here!

With stunning views, some stretching over distant bays and shorelines, as well as a welcoming clubhouse, Torquay Golf Club will leave golfers of all abilities with fond memories, even if their game is slightly off.

For more information call 01803 314591 or email


Feeling stressed? Here are two things that can help

The last rush to get things organised for the new school year can make it hard to find time for ourselves, but as life begins to slow down with the turn of autumn, it’s the perfect time to unwind with these two wellbeing methods, from Gerri, founder of Regain Recovery.

“Focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking has been shown to increase stress, and we actually end up getting less done. Try fully engaging each act of daily life and see for yourself how much more you enjoy the little things!”

The second tip is to cut back on drinking. Gerri explains: “Even a small amount of alcohol interferes with sleep patterns, increasing stress and making us wake up groggy. So, for an energy boost, try taking a break from alcohol.”

For more information call 01237 405200 or visit


The tie is dead – long live the tie!

The tie is not dead yet! Although no longer worn as a formality to work, the tie has been reborn and adopted by young men and women as a must-have fashion accessory. Every evening in trendy bars, restaurants and clubs in towns and cities all over the country there is a growing number of ties being worn on the necks of the fashion conscious. Women are adopting an androgynous look first seen in the 1920’s and the tie is making a real comeback with fashion houses all over the world. The trend for men is towards a small number of beautifully handmade ties in silks, cottons and linens. So, the tie has been released from the confines of corporate conformity and is instead a trendy fashion statement – long live the tie.

For more information call 01271 373446 or visit


All you need to know about oyster shucking!

Whether you’re an old hand or new to oyster shucking, head down to Falmouth this October for the annual Oyster Festival where you can indulge in the fine art of oyster shucking and enjoy live music, cooking lessons and festivities, all washed down with a glass or two of champagne or some traditional Cornish cider.

Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac, so why not make a romantic gesture and treat your loved one to a luxury stay at The Oceanic Suite Hotel – Cornwall’s luxury getaway for grown-ups. With just five designer suites offering a unique blend of five-star hotel facilities and stylish apartment living, The Oceanic is the
perfect accompaniment to a weekend
of oyster indulgence.

To add a bit of extra fizz, opt for the romantic room makeover where your suite will be transformed with scattered rose petals on the bed, a bottle of award-winning Cornish bubbly, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a special Molton Brown gift set – all for just £75 extra.

Recently voted one of the UK’s most romantic hotels, The Oceanic enjoys stunning views over the harbour and is just a short stroll from Events Square and the various bars, restaurants and oyster related activities.

However, if you don’t like oysters, don’t despair – The Oceanic is open all year round and is the ideal choice for a mini break, a special birthday or an anniversary treat!

For more information call 01326 389330 or visit


Get the whole clan together!

Whether it’s for a special occasion, or simply because you feel like getting the whole family together, a multigenerational holiday can be a lot of fun. Toad Hall Cottages have a wide range of larger properties throughout Devon perfect for a family get together. Booking a house big enough to accommodate everyone can often work out cheaper, and you get many added bonuses such as games rooms, swimming pools, multiple bathrooms, larger gardens and, of course, plenty of space in which to relax and enjoy your time together.

Some of the Toad Hall team’s favourite properties include beautiful Higher Sutton, a large 17th century farmhouse near Thurlestone, south Devon, which boasts a well-equipped games room as well as farm animals to keep the kids happy. There’s also a huge open-plan kitchen that’s perfect for cooking up a feast!

And then there’s Waterside, with its own private beach and mooring just a stone’s throw from Salcombe!

For more information call 01548 202020 or visit


Going once, going twice, at Whittons Auctions

Whittons Auctions is an auction house in East Devon with over four generations’ experience. Edward Whitton has been an auctioneer and valuer, specialising in silver, jewellery, fine art and antiques for over 25 years, regularly auctioning rare and coveted items from across Devon.

Whittons hold at least six seasonal Fine Art auctions along with regular General Antiques and Silver sales. All auctions are online, meaning wherever you are you get the chance to secure beautiful and rare pieces. Online auctions also allow sellers to reach a much wider audience.

Coming up is a Silver and General Antique sale on Thusday 4th October at 10.30 am. With bullion prices being high at present, now could be the perfect time to put your treasured heirlooms under the gavel, and entries are now being invited for the Christmas Auction on 29th and 30th November.

For more information call 01404 517000 or visit


A natural way to live

At Home Naturally, the team is all about designing your ‘home story’ in a natural
way, which will promote and enhance wellbeing. By using natural materials, paints, fabrics, beautifully handcrafted furniture, lighting and accessories in
our homes, we can improve the way we live, learn and work.

From Earthborn paints to lovely cottons
and linens from a variety of fabric houses, Interior Designer Christine tells us: “ We can help give your home story a natural twist.”

This friendly company offers a curtain and blind making service to give your windows a fresh outlook, alongside quirky, unusual furnishings, home accessories and delicious home scents to help you relax and unwind.

“If you need a helping hand, our flexible interior design service could be all you need to start a new chapter. From space planning and bespoke furniture design to full project management, we can help you realise your dream home.”

For more information call 01626 833065 or visit


More favourites…

As My Favourite Cottages continues to add to its ever-growing portfolio of self-catering properties in the south west, there is now even more scope for you to find your favourite cottage on your next break away. We hear from Managing Director, Harry Roberts, who tells us: “We are proud to offer such a diverse range of holiday properties that currently range from traditional thatched countryside cottages, family friendly holiday homes by the sea and luxurious coastal apartments to large country manor houses with private estates. However, we are always looking to add to our collection, so if you have a property you feel would make a wonderful holiday home, please get in touch and discover our unique approach to holiday letting.”

For more information call 01271 377432 or visit


Dress to impress with Amor Blinds & Curtains

Transform the ambiance and look of your home by dressing your windows to impress with Amor Blinds & Curtains. Located in Exmouth, Amor is an independently owned blind and curtain specialist store with more than 25 years’ experience covering blinds, curtains, shutters and awnings. Plus, a free, no obligation measuring service is available whenever you need it, and the first-rate fitting service ensures that your product works as it should. We hear from company owner Clive who tells us: “Providing exceptional customer service is our top priority, and no matter the size of the window, our skilled team can create a first-class solution that’s tailored to your requirements.” Amor have an option to suit all tastes, so get in touch today and discover the perfect solution for you and your home.

For more information call 01395 275192 or visit


Good food should have a good story!

We couldn’t agree more! And, because the team at Ben’s Wine & Tapas either source directly from their producers, or make it in their own butchery and farm kitchen, they can tell it to you!

From their famous sausages, first dreamt up by Ben over 35 years ago, to their delicious dry cured bacon that can be enjoyed either at one of the cafés or at home, the butchery is the heart of this fantastic business. But it doesn’t stop there! Ben and the team make a variety of mouth-watering pies, pasties, salads, cakes, dips and chutneys on site which, combined with a burgeoning range of fresh fruit and veg, as well as dairy products, wines, beers, ciders and store cupboard essentials, mean you’ll find everything you need at Ben’s Farm Shops, whatever’s on the menu.

For more information visit


Upgrade your bathroom with Fords

Is your bathroom in need of some updating? Pay a visit to Fords in Sidmouth and you’ll find a dedicated team of designers and fitters ready to help you create the bathroom you’ve always wanted.

Whether you’re converting an old cupboard into a shower room or wanting a complete overhaul on an existing bathroom, Fords will work closely with you to make sure you get it exactly how you want it – no job is too big or too small!

With a full range of products, from RAK Ceramics to Grohe, the team offers the complete service that meets the expectations of their discerning customers. Why not call to arrange a free home visit from one of Fords’ experienced Bathroom Project Managers?

For more information call 01395 571000 or visit


Don’t miss Pecorama’s train of terror this Halloween!

For eerie Halloween fun this October half term, pay a scary visit to Pecorama at Beer. Ride the Beer Frights Ghost Train through gardens wreathed in witches, tombstones, cobwebs, bats and black cats. Enjoy spooky specials in the Garden Room Restaurant; there are monster treats for children in fancy dress and you can guess the weight of the giant Peco Pumpkin to win a free family ticket!

Whatever the weather, the Peco Play Station offers multi-tiered indoor play. What’s more, the kids can enjoy daily shows in the Gallery from 20th until 28th October, and everyone will enjoy viewing the wonderful Peco Model Railway Exhibition!

All of this, located on Devon and Dorset’s World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast, combines to make Pecorama a great venue for a family day out this autumn.

For more information visit


Personal, precious and made with precision

Located in the market town of Barnstaple near the coast of north Devon, James Bishop Jewellery is an independent retailer that’s been trading for more than 18 years. Ran by a close-knit team of just six members, this small but impressive business specialises in bespoke, handmade and contemporary jewellery, made by James on site.

The team works with many different metals, precious and semi-precious stones, and sells a wide range of different products. The best part is that James Bishop Jewellery has its very own workshop on site, where you can create that perfect bespoke piece of jewellery in the event that you’re unable to find the exact piece you’ve been looking for. James, the in-house designer, will help you select and design the perfect piece, tailoring it around your tastes and budget. Specialising in wedding bands and engagement rings, in a range of different metals – including sterling silver, stainless steel, palladium, platinum, as well as nine and 18 carat gold in rose, yellow and white – James can even design rings to fit around unusually shaped engagement rings!

Why not visit the James Bishop Jewellery design suite, settle into the comfortable and relaxed surroundings, and see for yourself how James and the team can help you design your own perfect piece of bespoke jewellery?

For more information call 01271 326438 or visit


Make the most of the Lewis Garden Machinery sale!

Located in Chulmleigh, north Devon, Lewis Garden Machinery supplies and maintains a full range of high quality, excellent value garden machinery for your garden, country estate or contracting business. And now is your chance to make the most of the exceptional products on offer as part of the massive end of season sale. Owner Ryan tells us: “These low prices won’t be beaten, won’t be duplicated again and are on a first come first served basis – so make sure to order early to avoid disappointment!” With savings of over £100 on some products, now is the time to buy. Whether you’re after a ride-on mower, chainsaw, strimmer, hedge trimmer, blower or cultivator you can find them all and more at Lewis Garden Machinery.

For more information call 01769 580378 or visit


South Molton, the gateway to Exmoor

Nestled right in the heart of north Devon, South Molton beats with the love from visitors and residents alike.

The Amory Centre houses South Molton Town Council and offers room hire, the Library and the relocated Visitor’s Information Centre.

Welcoming everyone from near and far, the Visitor’s Centre presents a delicious smorgasbord of magazines, maps, timetables, local walking guides, attraction leaflets, works of local art and so much more, a real feast for the eyes, heart and soul!

In South Molton the Town Council provides the Museum, tennis court, skate park, BMX track, a beautiful Community Woodland, and has even hosted legendary events such as the recent Tour of Britain going through the town’s historic Pannier Market.

For more information call 01769 572501 or visit